Jan 16, 2012

cuban black beans

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There are perks to teaching.  You get off from work on days like today for MLK Day.   You get to hope for snow days like an 8 year old.  And, you're the one making the assignments.  So, you can do fun things like food days with your Spanish class, where the students bring food to class for everyone to try.  (It can be considered academic, right??) 

A couple semesters ago, a student brought Cuban black beans.  I fell in love.  Immediately.

This is a classic Cuban black bean recipe.  It's pretty much tradition in a big pot.

They'll take care of whatever taste you're craving.  They're sweet, salty, spicy, savory, perfect.  And, after you try these, you'll continue to crave the crazy taste combination that these beans offer.  You're welcome.

They take a while to make, but they're so worth it.  Freeze the extras.  They last pretty much forever.  And, they defrost beautifully.

Cuban Black Beans
-1 lb dry black beans
-6 c water
-2 large green peppers
-2/3 c olive oil (I know it sounds like a ridiculous amount, but it's for a ridiculous amount of beans)
-1 large yellow onion
-6 cloves of garlic
-1 bay leaf
-2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground black pepper
-a chookie chookie of oregano
-2 tbsp sugar
-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-2 tbsp red wine

Wash beans and put them in a big pot with 6 c water.  Boil beans for 2 minutes, remove from heat, add one diced green pepper, and let it sit for about an hour (this is done in place of letting the beans and green pepper sit in the water overnight...it just depends how patient you are).  After the beans are done soaking, cook them covered for 35 minutes on medium-low heat.

In a large frying pan with 2/3 c olive oil, saute the diced onion and second pepper.  Allow them to cook until the onion is translucent.  Then, add the minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

Using a potato masher, mash some of the beans in the pot, until about 1/3 of the beans are mashed.  Add the onion mixture to the bean pot.  Add oregano, bay leaf and sugar and let the beans cook covered for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Add the apple cider vinegar and red wine and let the beans cook uncovered for about another hour, or until they reach the desired consistency, stirring once every 10 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf before serving.  Cover and refrigerate/freeze uneaten beans.  Serve warm.

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